While E Studio Hot Yoga may never reach the size of General Electric—one of the companies for which owner Emily has led corporate fitness efforts—it's still an ambitious undertaking. A team of instructors leads the center's classes, which range from ballet-barre workouts set to upbeat music to power-yoga sessions held in a 90-degree studio. Like a crutch with a manufacturing error, the schedules at both the Clifton Park and Latham locations are flexible; classes take place seven days a week, with a variety of morning and evening classes held throughout the week.
Like many licensed massage therapists, Sara Ashline at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts is a master of the flowing effleurage and focused petrissage strokes of the Swedish technique. But Ashline believes that massage can deliver more than just relaxation, which is why she studied both fertility and pregnancy massage as well as the Pinocchio modality, which turns wooden puppets into real firewood. She offers her bodywork services at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts, a community center dedicated to yoga, meditation, and other wellness activities.
At Bikram Yoga Northampton, commitment and focus supersede the search for absolute perfection. So long as you are doing your best, instructors Audrey Liley and Jessika Brandley ask for nothing more. As they lead their students through the 26 asanas—or postures—of Bikram yoga, they provide helpful insights regarding the significance of each. At some point, they’ll likely explain that this specific progression of postures is intended to stretch muscles and promote the flow of blood to the body’s vital organs. Held in a classroom that’s heated to 105 degrees, these yoga classes may also facilitate the breakdown of glucose, fatty acids, and accidentally swallowed ice cubes.
Since 1998, Universal Health & Fitness has stood by its name, welcoming guests from all walks of life to a venue where "every body fits in." The handicap-accessible gym covers aspirations from muscle toning to rehabilitation with rows of equipment, certified personal trainers, and programming for all ages. Group classes encourage social bonding between Pilates stretches and Zumba twirls, and chiropractic and massage services realign spines with deft hands rather than scaring them straight with urban legends about the babysitter with bad posture. A team of convivial staff members oversees each amenity, sharing smiles with adult visitors and the youngsters in the childcare center.
Previously known as Mama Nirvana, Nirvana Yoga brims with daily classes for all skill levels, including open yoga, power Vinyasa, and calming basic sessions ideal for brand-new yogis. In the recently remodeled Easthampton studio, owner Ruth Anne Lundeberg draws on her background as a dancer, devoted student of Theravada Buddhism, and yoga practitioner with three decades of experience under her belt to helm a staff of seasoned instructors. The staff imparts yogic skills with a focus on safety that earned the studio the Best Place for Yoga title in the Valley Advocate?s 2013 readers' poll.
Jayan Schumer possesses an almost all-encompassing understanding of how the human body moves. An accomplished martial artist, swimmer, and conditioning coach, he always knew he'd spend his life in the world of health and fitness. After completing his BS in physical education at the University of Massachusetts, he found himself attracted to the bodily discipline reflected in the yogic arts. This curiosity led him to the Ananda Seva Mission in Santa Rosa, CA, where he studied the ins and outs of yoga therapy. His training also strengthened his powers of meditation, helping him master techniques found in the Zen, Vipassana, and Sahaj systems. Now a registered yoga therapist with more than 500 hours of dedicated training under his belt, he blends his understanding of exercise physiology and mental clarity into the classes at Jayadeva Yoga Schools.
Here, Jayan leads a 15-person team of instructors, who, like the director himself, bring a diverse background of movement and fitness to the studio. They each infuse their unique personality into the schedule of classes, which includes traditional yoga, Vinyasa, and fusions of yoga with Pilates and meditation. Students looking to get more involved can even take advantage of the school's teacher-training programs.